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EVEN THE DEMONS BELIEVE — SO HOW ARE WE DIFFERENT? (SONG OF SONGS) LESSON 13.

 

WHAT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE

BETWEEN THE DEMONS AND THE CHILDREN OF GOD

SINCE JAMES TELLS US

THAT EVEN THE DEMONS BELIEVE?

even-the-demons-believe

 

THE DEMONS HAVE NO LOVE FOR CHRIST,

NO DESIRE TO BE WITH HIM

BUT TRUE BELIEVERS FIND HIM ALTOGETHER LOVELY

altogetherlovely


Two weeks ago when we looked at Enjoying God, some of you were taken aback when George Mueller said: “The first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day, is to have MY SOUL HAPPY IN THE LORD.”

Our own Diane put it so well:

I come from a solid Baptist tradition where TRUTH is extremely important and enjoying God was never mentioned. Too much emotion in worship or life was suspect. Restraint is admired. Yet I do sense that God longs for us to enjoy Him. What does this truly mean for my life? If I am in love with my Savior, it will show in my life in the same way that a person in love with another person or a pregnant mother “glows” due to her happiness.

pregnanet beth
Beth Brestin Harrington with her husband, expecting their first child

Diane’s comment made me think of our own Beth, who because of her painful past in the orphanage, had trouble bonding to others. The Lord is healing her and it is most evident in how she has bonded to her children — she truly did glow all through her pregnancies. She was experiencing joy in her child.

And the Lord wants us to have joy in Him. That love relationship is how we are different from the demons. And when we are convinced of His love for us, we glow. Even when life is filled with trials, if we know we are loved, as our own Dawn said, “It keeps us sane.”

As you read this I am in Kentucky, and the spiritual warfare has been intense. Thank you for praying, for we have so needed it. Almost everything that could go wrong did, yet each time, I was able to remember God’s love and see Him overcome. He provided me with great tech help, we had tech problems here but David kept guiding us through by phone, I got lost trying to find the retreat, but was found, I was sick and lost my voice, but it wasn’t completely gone until this morning. Teasi Cannon (a new author) opened Friday night with the theme “The Battle is the Lord’s” and it is. Teasi’s mother who sat next to me, said, “I just go a word from the Lord.” Tsuami. I wasn’t even sure what she was talking about — but later I knew — He came in a mighty way, and the room was silent to hear Him all three sessions. I spoke on The Song of Songs and they understood. One woman said to me “Everything that was in my head has dropped to my heart.” God came to us because He loves us.

He loves us, He is for us, and we must not be overcome by the fiery darts and lies of the evil one that God does not love us and is not for us. He knows that when we back up from the Lord we will run to our idols. But let the beauty of the Lord overcome the evil one — for He is more precious than silver.

LET THIS SONG PREPARE YOU FOR THIS WEEK:

Sunday

1. What stands out to you and why?

Monday/Tuesday

This week’s message on The Love of the Church for Christ is a feast for your souls. We will take a little each day and eat slowly. It goes over what we studied last week, taking us deeper. Please don’t miss Friday — it is so rich!

 

PLEASE go to this link.

Then choose The Love of Christ 3 and DOWNLOAD it so it doesn’t skip. If you have trouble hearing, listen with earbuds or headphones. Listen to only the first 13 minutes — actually, until 12:55. Take notes.

2. Share your notes on these first 13 minutes. HE IS THE FAIREST OF TEN THOUSAND TO MY SOUL

3. Review Song of Songs 1:2-3 and 1:13: He is sweetness to her – and this is so key. This is when Reeves gets excited about the parallel with Psalm 4:7 – so read that. What parallel do you see?

4. How do you see that she loves him rather than his gifts?

5. What error do we lean toward in presenting the gospel as a formula? How might you do it differently?

6. Review Song of Songs 5:2-8  

 How is physical sleepiness is similar to spiritual sleepiness?

Wednesday: Listen from 12:55 t0 23:40  We Must Feast With Him Before We Suffer With Him

7. Share your notes.

8. She loves Him more than His gifts. She wants to be with Him. How do you see this in The Song of Songs?

9. How do you see suffering in The Song of Songs 3:7?

10. Sibbes says you will not suffer with Him if you have not feasted with Him. She will not truly love Him unless she is convinced He loves her. Are you convinced? Find a passage in the Song of Songs that helps you.

Thursday: Listen to 23:40 – 39:30  His Glory More Than His Gifts

11. What do the daughters of Jerusalem ask in Song of Songs 5:9 and how does she answer? Then how do they respond in 6:1. What does this tell you?

12. What does Reeves say we have lost in our Protestant heritage?

13. We tend to talk about the mechanics of how to get saved instead of the beauties of Christ. How might seeing this impact how you share with others? See if you can come up with a sentence or two that you might share.

Friday: Listen To 39:30 To The End. Aslan Is On The Move, Transforming His Bride.

aslan

14. Read Song of Songs 2:8-17 and find out what made them laugh so hard in the classroom. Reeves was kidding, and yet had a serious point. What was it?

15. HE QUOTES THIS FROM CROWN HIM WITH MANY CROWNS. WHAT WAS HIS POINT?
    His reign shall know no end,
    and round his pierced feet
    fair flowers of paradise extend
    their fragrance ever sweet.

15. READ SONG OF SONGS 6:10 AND COMMENT ON WHAT YOU LEARN FROM THIS AND REEVES.

16. Read Song of Songs 7:1-2 and comment on what you learn from this and Reeves.

17. Other comments from this section. (It is so rich!)

Saturday

18. What is your take-a-way and why?

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226 comments

  1. Dee,   I can just imagine how badly you feel about having to cancel with the prisons in Texas.  However, I agree with Diane’s thinking — eventually it may wash clear why this has developed the way it has.  God does have mysterious ways!    Just take really good care of yourself.   Perhaps while you are resting God may have something special to say to you. 
    Personally, I am having technology problems again, but not the kind that David can help me with, I don’t believe.    I recently upgraded my AOL to Desktop 9.7 from AOL 9.0 VR.   Something about that move has made it impossible for me to listen to Mike Reeves using Desktop 9.7.  Thankfully I hadn’t uninstalled AOL 9.0VR yet, as I can listen on it.  But I cannot download on either one.    So I am having to do my homework the hard way this week!!
    Now for my notes on Reeves:
    Absence does not make the heart grow fonder.    Take a man sick for any earthly thing.  That which the soul is sick in love with is what you dream of and think most on.  
    The maiden’s desire for Him wanes but it is Him she loves.     It is the peculiar interest the church has in Christ that does relish the spirit.  It is what you spend your spare mental time thinking of. 
    Christians should be cautioned not to talk about Grace too much as if it is a thing.   We are really talking about salvation in Christ in his graciousness. 
    The church has a strong desire for Christ, and then it wanes — until the church perceives Christ’s constant affection even though she has been unkind.  
     
    What does desire look like? We cannot please Christ better than ensuring ourselves welcome and taking part of his provision. Christ spreads a table of food, and the church enjoys the feast.   We honor him by partaking of the full banquet and enjoying his grace. Our duty is to accept Christ’s inviting to us. What will do for him if we do not feast with him? We will not suffer with Him if we will not feast with Him.  You will not be prepared to suffer if you do not feast with Him.   If you don’t treasure Him then you aren’t going to bother suffering for Him — He won’t be worth it.     The first thing is to love Christ, so in times of sorrow we will have joy underneath.  
    8. She loves Him more than His gifts. She wants to be with Him. How do you see this in The Song of Songs?
     
    She is frantic to find Him — doesn’t even use good sense, running out into the night, enlisting the daughters of Jerusalem to help her in her search.   She doesn’t say that she wants to find Him so he can do something for her.  She says she is faint with love.
    9. How do you see suffering in The Song of Songs 3:7?
    Sorry,  I might have to pass on this one.  I wonder if that is a typo in the question.  Could you have meant 5:7  instead of 3:7?   In 5:7 I can certainly see suffering when she is beaten by the watchmen.
     
    10. Sibbes says you will not suffer with Him if you have not feasted with Him. She will not truly love Him unless she is convinced He loves her. Are you convinced? Find a passage in the Song of Songs that helps you.
     
    Yes, I’m convinced.  I would choose SOS 4:9
    “You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride….”
     

  2. 11. What do the daughters of Jerusalem ask in Song of Songs 5:9 and how does she answer? Then how do they respond in 6:1. What does this tell you?
     
    They ask her why is your beloved so much greater than others? She describes Him as beautiful-altogether lovely. 
    They respond by wanting to seek Him with her.
     
    12. What does Reeves say we have lost in our Protestant heritage?
     
    He says we have lost our focus on Him. We have lost an emphasis on speaking of the person of Christ. We tend not to be Christ centered as much as we should be and we talk about salvation and grace but not in a Christ centered way.
     
     
     
     
     

  3. 13. We tend to talk about the mechanics of how to get saved instead of the beauties of Christ. How might seeing this impact how you share with others? See if you can come up with a sentence or two that you might share.
     
    What I share depends on the conversation, but I can give an example of sharing with my boss in the kitchen although I didn’t have time to say much-which might be a good thing! 🙂

    She told me of a man who came to her at her second job as she was setting out halloween decorations and he angrily said, “You are conjuring up satan by doing this!”  She said she wanted to smack him and she hated religious wackos like that.  I told her, “wow satan really used that guy because God isn’t hateful like that, God loves you so much and wants to be with you so much that He died for you.” Of course time ran out and we couldn’t dialogue more.

    1. deleting this…i already said it! 🙂

    1. Dee, praying for you today…perhaps this was God’s wanting you to “come away with Him…” for a time of rest. I pray He will come to you today like a friend over a steaming hot cup of tea.

  4. 11. What do the daughters of Jerusalem ask in Song of Songs 5:9 and how does she answer? Then how do they respond in 6:1? What does this tell you? “How is your beloved better than others, most beautiful of women? How is your beloved better than others that you so charge us?” They are asking why is your beloved worth seeking? Why should we help? As I said last week I do not think this is malicious or selfish because the friends have a history of being helpful (tho it could be). I think they just want to know more. She answers by listing the best of the best qualities of her beloved. And they respond by saying “which way did he go?! Let’s go get him!!” they are convinced that he is indeed better than 10,000. This leads to the next question.
     
    12. What does Reeves say we have lost in our Protestant heritage? We have lost that inclination to speak of Christ’s beauty (and I assume that this applies to the Father as well, for it was His gift). If we speak of Christ as the bride speaks of the beloved then we will show others the beauty of Christ and they will be won. I need to listen to Reeves again and I will but I am limited in time this week due to circumstances. I appreciate the illumination of this concept.
     
    13. We tend to talk about the mechanics of how to get saved instead of the beauties of Christ. How might seeing this impact how you share with others? See if you can come up with a sentence or two that you could share. I appreciate the concept of “exchange”, I have been calling it salvation by works, which is descriptive as well, but the exchange concept really nails it on the head. I have been convicted for a long while that just getting people to “conversion” (ie say the sinner’s prayer) is really a disservice unless they truly believe and are changed (must submit to the cross and recently have also realized the need to confess idols). It has been a long time since I have “led someone to Christ”. I try to speak without filter – in other words I give reason for my joy. If people comment then I pay homage to the work God is doing, I don’t filter out the God just to have conversation with secular people. But, even in saying that I know that I need to be more open about these things. I always tend to err on the side of not being pushy because that is what I hear most people complain about – pushy religious people and I have wanted to give them space to come to God themselves without me forcing the issue. Does that make sense? I have already changed so much and people who have known me can see that but those that just meet me don’t know any difference. This is where it is difficult because I always fear turning someone off to the Lord by “being pushy” even though I don’t push towards anything I am just sharing of what God has done (aha! here is what Reeves is talking about! should speak of what He is and not what He has done). I am convicted to memorize more scripture because that is where truthful non-debatable descriptions of Christ reside. Who said last week that in scripture is Christ because he is The Word? I will be praying for clear vision on how to apply this in my life.
     
    Thank you for your prayers!

    1. Jill, I’ve been catching-up reading comments…saw your previous post. Sorry you are under so much stress right now…I will pray for Him to be with you through it all and to help you keep letting Him shine through you (He does through your posts!)

      1. Thank you, Susan.

  5. 3. Review Song of Songs 1:2-3 and 1:13: He is sweetness to her – and this is so key. This is when Reeves gets excited about the parallel with Psalm 4:7 – so read that. What parallel do you see?
     
    I love the language here in these verses, “Let him kiss me…your love is more delightful than wine…I love the fragrance of your perfume…your name is like perfume poured out…my lover is to me a sachet of myrrh…” He simply and yet profoundly is a delight to her senses…he awakens every fiber of her being, brings every part of her into the experience of his sweetness. Then, David expresses that when he thinks about being filled with a good meal-how much better it is for his heart to be filled with joy in God.
    It’s like the Lord takes all the familiar things – kisses, wine, perfume, myrrh, food – and elevates them to a whole new level as we seek to describe Him who is indescribable with what we know.
     
    4. How do you see that she loves him rather than his gifts?
     
    She is talking only about Him – His attributes…she finds pleasure and beauty in Him. Not once is there any mention of a material thing that He gives her.
     
    5. What error do we lean toward in presenting the gospel as a formula? How might you do it differently?
     
    We focus on why a person should put their faith in Jesus based on what He will then do for them. It is certainly important that a person understands what He has done for them on the Cross-how He died for their sins. But we often neglect to tell them how much joy will come in just getting to know Him; that it’s a relationship, like a marriage.
    I actually tried to do it differently this week with my mom. I talked with her about what I’ve been learning in Song of Songs. We looked at verses like 4:7…how is it possible for God to see you as beautiful without flaw? I asked her if she ever thinks of God loving her like that. She said no. I shared some of my journal with her and how God talks to me through His Word and then I talk to Him. I am feeling like Mellany when she writes of her sister and other family members…only God can save. I worry b/c due to Alzheimer’s, her short-term memory is awful, and I wonder if 15 minutes later she will remember anything we talked about. The one thing she will read, cover-to-cover, every day is the newspaper. She just has no interest/desire in God.
     
    All this humbles me to remember that it still isn’t up to me – I may think that I “did a good job” in presenting the gospel…or I may make a total wreck of it (which is usually my tongue-tied efforts) yet only God can take anything that I say or do and open a person’s heart to really hear and understand.
     
    6. Review Song of Songs 5:2-8
     
    How is physical sleepiness similar to spiritual sleepiness?
     
    Sibbes said that when we want to sleep, we desire to be alone. She was sleepy…her desire for him had waned. I find that when I am tired and sleepy, I get very selfish. I am reluctant to rouse myself to do something for somebody else. It gets worse as I get older…I had no problem being up most of the night when my kids were babies, or when they were sick…but physically now it’s harder to stay awake. It is easy to drift into complacency in my relationship with the Lord, too – to be “sleepy”, to forget what He’s like. To not want to be bothered to do the hard work of maintaining the relationship. The words “spiritual disciplines” comes to mind. To want to turn-over and go to sleep and be left alone seems easier than to be disciplined to do what needs to be done even when I don’t feel like it.

  6. Have been reading at all hours on cell…SO THANKFUL FOR THIS STUDY.   Please pray…hard days.   Glad HE loves me and that I desire Him.

    1. Renee, may the Lord wrap you in His arms of comfort and  give you strength and wisdom to persevere…I’ll be praying for these “hard days” to pass. 

  7. Praying for you in these hard days, Renee. Thankful you are with us in this study and that God is revealing his love to you and you are responding to Him. Hugs!

  8. I almost forgot to share my most recent God-incidence!    Our Bible Study at church on Tuesday night was focused on Proverbs 8 — which is where the lyrics of “More Precious Than Silver” came from.   That song has been like an earworm for me this week — can’t get it out of my head — singing it in the shower each morning!    
     

  9. 11. What do the daughters of Jerusalem ask in Song of Songs 5:9 and how does she answer?       They ask “What is it that makes your lover so special that should make us want to search for Him?”
     
    Then how do they respond in 6:1?  “Where has He gone and where should we look for Him?”
     What does this tell you?  That her vivid description of Him had convinced the daughters of Jersusalem, and they were now interested in finding Him.
    12. What does Reeves say we have lost in our Protestant heritage?    He said that before 1800 every minister had one or more sermons along the line of “The Glories of Christ,” etc.  Sermons that extolled the “beauties of Christ.”    Now sermons of that kind of title are scarce. 
    13. We tend to talk about the mechanics of how to get saved instead of the beauties of Christ. How might seeing this impact how you share with others?   I think we presently tend to do less “witnessing” for Christ or giving “testimony” as to His effect on our lives.   In fact, those two words, witnessing and testimony, are almost totally absent in my denomination.
     
    See if you can come up with a sentence or two that you might share.   Jesus is the Son of God, and He loved mankind so much He was willing to humble Himself to become a human in order to reach us.  He loved us so much He actually gave up His human life to save us from sin and death.   I am aware that He is with me always, guiding me and comforting me.  He is the best thing in my life and I love Him! 

  10. Wednesday: Listen from 12:55 t0 23:40 We Must Feast With Him Before We Suffer With Him
    7. Share your notes.
     
    At 21:44: “In the times of sorrow, we can have a joy underneath the sorrow.”
     
    This resonated with me this week.

  11. 14. Read Song of Songs 2:8-17 and find out what made them laugh so hard in the classroom. Reeves was kidding, and yet had a serious point. What was it? I am a little unclear on the answer for this one but I think they are laughing about Song of Songs “loosing to Lewis”. In other words Lewis wrote the story better? The point is that winter is over, the white witch has been defeated and now Aslan (the bridegroom) has come.
     
    15. He quotes this from Crown Him with many crowns: His reign shall know no end, and round his perceived feet, fair flowers of paradise extend, their fragrance ever sweet. What was his point? I have only been able to listen once to the lecture, I intend to listen again (and again) to really understand all that he presents, my understanding “His presence brings life, His presence brings blooms”.  It could also mean the goodness of salvation through His death, when His feet were pierced paradise became an option (though how this reconciles with Old Testament I am unsure, will have to ponder).
     
    16. Read Song of Songs 7:1-2 and comment and what you learn from this and from Reeves. This language of fertility, she may be pregnant.
     
    17. Other comments from this section: I cannot wait to listen again! To all 4 lectures, actually. Pearls I got from the first go-round.
    Chap 2: The garden is flourishing but the relationship isn’t perfect yet. (foxes wouldn’t come unless there was something to spoil?)
    His presence brings life, blooms.
    Love strong as death cannot be true of an ordinary romance, we must be talking about resurrection.
    Jealousy is of the grave – He will rescue her from the grave with His jealous love (this is a new concept to me and I like it, He is jealous of the grave and wants to save us, though this would apply to idols as well). He will save her. Not even death can separate us from the love of Christ.
    Sister is the inclusion of others within the temple.

    1. Good morning Dee! I’m glad typing doesn’t put any strain on your voice! Hoping you are feeling somewhat better and getting needed rest!

    2. Dee, sorry that you are not feeling well and ended up having to cancel your trip to Texas…I’m sure that you are greatly disappointed; your passion for prison ministry is evident.  You take good care of yourself and enjoy the silent retreat the Lord has given you.  Hot chocolate with Redi whip on top by the fireplace in comfies would be my suggestion…:)

  12. Just finished listening to the second part of Reeve’s talk – so much – took lots of notes. This speaks to me so much as to my thought-life:
     
    “Take a man that is sick for any earthly thing…that which the soul is sick of in love it thinks of daily, it dreams of it in the night. What do our souls therefore think of, what sort of meditations run our time when we are in our advised and best thoughts…what do we most think of?”
     
    (Reeves) Sibbes is seeing that desire is so important – what you daydream about is very revealing – that’s what you love.
    Her desire wanes at this point but it’s Him that she loves.
     
    (Sibbes) “It is the peculiar interest that the church has in Christ that does relish her spirit; e.g. what satisfies her – it is Christ. It’s the nature of love upon all occasions to reflect upon the thing loved. (e.g. you think about what you love – that’s what you will spend your spare mental time thinking about. You’ll also think about the things that stress and worry you, but if you have a casual moment, just a daydream, you’ll tend to think about the things that you love).”
     
    And what she loves is Him. She’s not interested in talking about His kindness, she is interested in talking about Him. (Caution for us Christians, that we don’t talk about grace as if it were a thing in and of itself – isn’t grace great – but we are really talking about salvation by Christ alone in His graciousness)
     
    As the church falls again into a declining of affection whereupon follows a further strangeness and a distance of Christ and her which continues until “that strangeness, that declining of affection, continues until the church, perceiving or sensing Christ’s constant affection unto her – notwithstanding her unkind dealing – recovers and cleaves fast unto Christ than ever before.
     
    Amazing to me… Jesus’ constant affection unto me notwithstanding my unkind dealings with Him…oh. How does her love recover (how can mine?) She perceives His constant affection unto her even though she has been unkind. That wins her.
     
    (Sibbes) “We cannot please Christ better than in showing ourselves welcome by cheerful taking part of His rich provision. It is an honor to His bounty to fall-to (the feast He puts on for us)”.
    He’s saying that Christ is so kind to her – He puts on a full table spread with lovely food and it’s actually honoring and proving His kindness and generosity by ‘tucking in’ and going “Goody!” That’s what the Christian does with Christ: “tuck in”. Our duty is to accept Christ’s invitation.
     
    “We’ll not suffer with Him if we’ll not feast with Him.”  Sibbes is saying that you won’t be prepared to suffer if you won’t first feast with Him. If you don’t enjoy Him, if you don’t treasure Him, if you don’t see Him as “feastly”, you’re not going to bother suffering for Him – He’s not worth it. He’s got to be worth it for you to go through pain.
    This suggests that before the times of suffering come, feast with Him, so that in the times of sorrow, you can have a joy underneath the sorrow.
     
    “We’ll not suffer with Him if we’ll not joy with Him, and in Him. That which we should labor to bring with us is a taste of these dainties, an appetite to them.” “The chief thing that Christ requires is a good stomach to these dainties.” That’s faith! That’s the submission and the obedience of faith that the Bride owes the Bridegroom. She’s the Beloved…she’s the receiver before anything else, and receiving His love will evoke her love in response.
     
    *But she’ll only truly love Him if she knows she’s loved first.
     
    Loved this: “So let us open our mouth wide because Christ is so ready to fill it. We’re not straightened or constrained in His love but in our own hearts! If you’re feeling ‘why am I not given grace?’ it’s because you’re not willing to receive it! He’s always so ready to give.

  13. PRAYER REQUEST – if anyone catches this…my son Adam who is in med school has a big exam at 9…he’s been studying hard in preparation…exam goes until 1:30 pm.
     
    And, have asked my parents to watch Billy Graham with me tonight…he will be speaking from his living room and it will be aired on many TV stations. Pray especially for my mom’s heart.

    1. oh Susan-I missed the request for Adam in time–but will still pray, God is bigger than time! And will pray for you & your parents watching the Billy Graham special–we watched last night (our cable channel ran it)–SO good! I also taped the interview with Tullian & others on Hannity-watching that tonight!

    2. Thanks so much Elizabeth! (Adam passed his exam) I’m getting ready to head over to parents’ now!

      1. Susan-what a praise! Praying now for your time tonight–especially for your mom’s heart. Oh Lord, we pray that You would stir in Virginia (am I remembering right?!)’s heart–Lord, open her ears to hear Your truth. I pray Your presence would fill the room and You would use this Lord for Your glory. In Your Name we pray

    3. Good to hear that your son was successful on his exam…I just got on a bit ago and missed your request for prayer.

  14. Well, I’m more behind than I like to be. I’m dropping the denial and admitting it’s my turn to have the cold that has passed through my kids this past month…kept trying to call it allergies (why I think that seems better, i don’t know)–but after a field trip to a farm today complete with hayride has nearly done me in, I’m ready to crawl in a ball on my bed 😉
    So skip my posts because my brain is mush-but I look forward to hearing the end of Sibbes. And Susan–your notes are so helpful, as usual!

    8. She loves Him more than His gifts. She wants to be with Him. How do you see this in The Song of Songs?

    She searches for Him, even when she is tired and had been content to just go to sleep—so it wasn’t that she needed something from him, she just longed for His presence.

    9. How do you see suffering in The Song of Songs 5:7?

    The watchmen found her and beat her. They bruised her, they took away her veil—that which signified her being His Bride.

    10. Sibbes says you will not suffer with Him if you have not feasted with Him. She will not truly love Him unless she is convinced He loves her. Are you convinced? Find a passage in the Song of Songs that helps you.

    I love the end of chapter 3 (v.11) “Go out, O daughters of Zion, and look upon King Solomon, with the crown with which his mother crowned him on the day of his wedding, on the day of the gladness of his heart.” I really like the NIV “the day his heart rejoiced” To know that the Lord rejoices because of me—that stirs me to see it in His Word.

    1. Elizabeth-HATE to hear you are not feeling well and YES it is hard to even think when your head is stuffy. How are you doing this morning?
       
      Well God came through in your post anyway-This resonated with me-VERY strong: “I really like the NIV “the day his heart rejoiced” To know that the Lord rejoices because of me—that stirs me to see it in His Word.” – I think one of satans tools is to get me to focus on how bad I am because I stumbled-and that  how could He, a Holy God rejoice in a stumbling bumbling sinner like me?  This causes me to take my eyes off of Him and His Love for me. Yet as you just showed and as Dee said, once we start diving into His love for us-our affections grow and grow for Him.  Your post also brought to mind something I hadn’t thought of-SORRY for this rabbit trail, but when I think of Him rejoicing in me, I go to song of songs and think of how He rejoices in her as she is being transformed into His likeness-the affection and admiration for one another grows and grows between both of them really…As she becomes more like Him..He talks about her fruit and how lovely she is-and she talks about His-and in chapter 8 it switches off between I and we..so she and He are really delighting in one another.

      1. Rebecca, I like how you bring this out that He talks about her fruit and she talks about His and it is both of them delighting in one another. It models for us how our relationship with Him ideally should be.

    2. Elizabeth, I am thinking of you suffering with a bad cold…praying you feel better soon. I hope you can find time to rest this weekend and take care of yourself.

      1. Praying your feeling better Elizabeth.

  15. 13. (part B)See if you can come up with a sentence or two that you might share.
     
    Jesus means so much to me. He has taken my despair and given me peace in the midst of it knowing that he loves and cares about me, even though he is God, high King and creator of the world. I love him and know you would love him too, if you got to know him.

    (I really like this question and the idea that we should talk more about Jesus rather than “how to be saved”. This feels much more natural to me. I always struggled with witnessing, wondering if I was saying the right thing or missing an important step.) I know quite well that following a formula in itself doesn’t save you, having seen those who “come forward” but their lives never really changed. We need to make Jesus winsome, attractive. It is more about longing to get to know Him than following another church’s “dos and don’ts” or even understanding all the doctrines of justification, salvation and grace. People need to be attracted to the Person of Christ.

    1. loved all of your response, Diane “…even though he is God, high King and creator of the world.” powerful

  16. Susan,  I am praying for your mom as well.  This battle is yours God.  In the name of Jesus, I ask for you to reach this mom.  I ask for your power, Holy Spirit, to do the work you desire this evening. We trust you Holy Spirit.  And we praise your name forever.

    1. Appreciate your prayers, Tereasa!

  17. Susan, I’m so thankful your son passed his exam and I pray your mom was blessed by the Billy Graham 95th birthday show.  Thank you for asking about my son, Trevor.  They monitored his heart all last week-end and it is fine:)  He does not have diabetes:)  So they don’t know why he passed out 4 times the month he was moved 500 hundred miles from home and living with his dad and step mother, other than he had no anti-depressant and he was very stressed with the new job there and things were also very stressful with his dad and step-mother:(   All in all he is feeling better and relaxed since he moved back home!  Thank you so much for praying !
    I have been reading all the comments and I want you to know I am praying for you…Dee, Jill, Staci, Tereasa, and for the ministry Linda Strom is at with the volunteers.  I’m sure you are missed very much Dee, but God must have other plans for you…Get well soon!!

    1. Joyce, good to hear that Trevor checked out okay.  My brother-in-law passed out a few Christmases ago…very scary.  He was taken by ambulance to the hospital and hospitalized for a few days.  He went through a bunch of tests in and out of the hospital; everything came back fine.  I’m wondering if stress may have had something to do with it…my sister-in-law was dying of cancer…she passed the following June…I’m sure his stress level was high.  Similarly, as you mentioned, Trevor was under a great deal of stress and no anti-depressant to help…  Glad that he is feeling better and more relaxed these days.

    2. Joyce, so glad to hear that Trevor’s health checked-out okay! It certainly sounds like not having his medication and all the stress caused his trouble when he was away. I bet you are so glad to have him back and I’m happy for you! Thank you for praying for my mom, too…she needs prayer.

      1. Thank you Nanci and Susan.

  18. 8. She loves Him more than His gifts. She wants to be with Him. How do you see this in The Song of Songs?
    She talks of Him, not His associated benefits…it is Him that she loves…He is her gift.
     
    9. How do you see suffering in The Song of Songs 5:7?
    She is beaten by the “watchmen,” her veil is stripped from her by them (i.e., the church will experience persecution from within as well as from the outside…those within the body of Christ have the capacity to cause harm.)
     
    10. Sibbes says you will not suffer with Him if you have not feasted with Him. She will not truly love Him unless she is convinced He loves her. Are you convinced? Find a passage in the Song of Songs that helps you.
    Most of the time the answer is “yes,” but there are times when sinister questions of doubt enter my mind, like “will I simply die and be gone forever…am I really just mind and body with no spirit?”…”is death really the end?”  But then I think of Jesus, from His producing wine from water to calming the sea to His resurrection and presence to many; this and thinking of times that I have personally witnessed His grace and presence gets me back on track and I repent of my doubt.
    I will need to spend more time in choosing a SoS passage…I’m unsure at this time.  SoS 4:9-10 is nice and touched me deeply when contemplated upon in a previous week, but I’m unsure if that is really “the one”…:)

  19. 14. Read Song of Songs 2:8-17 and find out what made them laugh so hard in the classroom. Reeves was kidding, and yet had a serious point. What was it?
     
    That the song of songs inspired C.S. Lewis-they were talking about the white witch in Aslan-With the appearance of Aslan the winter is gone-With the appearance of her beloved leaping over the mountains-their relationship isn’t perfect yet, but His presence brings great blessing.
     
    15. HE QUOTES THIS FROM CROWN HIM WITH MANY CROWNS. WHAT WAS HIS POINT?    His reign shall know no end,     and round his pierced feet     fair flowers of paradise extend     their fragrance ever sweet.
     
    He is the giver of life-His presence means a great blessing in her garden.
     
    15. READ SONG OF SONGS 6:10 AND COMMENT ON WHAT YOU LEARN FROM THIS AND REEVES.
     
    This is a description of the woman: She is compared to a multitude of people-she is an army herself. The presence of these others, the daughters of Jerusalem are not entirely separable from her.  It flip flops between I and we..it is because she is a plurality of persons.
     
    16. Read Song of Songs 7:1-2 and comment on what you learn from this and Reeves.
     
    This is fertile language. She is like Him reflecting Him. 
     
    17. Other comments from this section. (It is so rich!)
     
    This REALLY stood out to me. (I would have to agree this is rich!)
     
    When Reeves jumped to 8:6,7: 
     
    Chapter 8: 6, 7-
     
     
    A flame of Yah as in Yahweh. Love is the very flame of the Lord. This love is strong as death-a seal. If this is an ordinary romance, this is not true because your love will be killed by death. What if love is as strong as death? We must be talking about resurrection. Death can’t beat this love.
     
    Jealousy as fierce as the grave-this is the beauty of His jealousy and like the most loving husbands he is jealous of His Bride-She belongs to Him and He WILL have her protected. Because he loves her with a fierce jealous love he will rescue her from the grave. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. (What can separate us from the Love of Christ? Not even death.)
     
    And this in 8:14- The whole song ends with a Maranatha cry-the bride says, ‘come’..If his presence brings paradise, come, come Lord Jesus how good it will be.  

  20. 8. She loves Him more than His gifts. She wants to be with Him. How do you see this in The Song of Songs?
     
    In what we’ve studied so far through chapter 5, I continue to see her focused on Him…her enjoyment of Him, basking in the delight of His presence. In 5:5-8, her heart is sinking within her because He has gone away…she aches because us His absence.
     
    9. How do you see suffering in The Song of Songs 5:7?
     
    She is trying to find Him – even daring to go out at night in the city, alone. Those that should have helped her instead beat her, bruised her, and took away her cloak or veil.
    If anything, they tried to hinder her progress in finding him. I have a thought…how when a believer can be trying to follow Jesus and grow in his or her faith, and people around them who are unbelieves can try to hinder them…in the taking of her cloak or veil I see they tried to shame her…that’s like being ridiculed and made fun-of or even rejected when you are trying to follow Jesus.
     
    10. Sibbes says you will not suffer with Him if you have not feasted with Him. She will not truly love Him unless she is convinced He loves her. Are you convinced? Find a passage in The Song of Songs that helps you.
     
    I loved that part of Reeve’s talk. Feasting with Him means that I really, really believe that He has invited me to His table – I am welcome, I am received with love…He says to come hungry! I don’t have to creep in like some beggar or someone who doesn’t belong there. So if I really believe that…then when I suffer I can be assured of His love – this is the One whom I have feasted with and tasted His goodness.
    I am becoming more convinced of His love for me through Song of Songs – a place where I never would’ve looked in the Bible to find assurances of His love before! And I know some preach this book entirely different in that the meaning of this book is not Christ’s love for the church corporately and for me individually. So if I take a verse like 2:14 and imagine He is saying to me that I am His dove and He wants to see my face and hear my voice because He thinks I am lovely and my voice is sweet…is He going to be mad at me if I am not interpreting and applying this correctly? I think He wants me to know that He loves me.
     
    2:4 “He has taken me to the banquet hall, and His banner over me is love.” – I am welcome at His table because of Christ…I belong there because I am the object of His love.
     
    4:7 “All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you.” – Jesus has made me beautiful and flawless…it is all by Him.

  21. 18. What is your take-a-way and why?
     
    That His love is like an unquenchable flame..Nothing I can do, no mistakes I make can quench His love. It is sweet to know that even when I was in the desert time refusing to get out of bed buying the lie that His love was quenched- and He withdrew, His love was never quenched for His hair was wet with dew and He left His scent on the door handle. It was basically that I got what I wanted at that time but He STILL loves me, He is jealous for me, and He will protect and rescue me from the evil one..This is the cross He went to the cross for me, the one who nailed him to it. His love is stronger than death-the resurrection- and His love will never be quenched for me…and so this makes me want to respond.
    He makes me want to turn from the tempter and temptations in life..I think I am finding that the more and more I feast on Him the more and more He supersedes anything or any situation here on Earth. His presence truly does bring paradise and I have only a little taste-but I want more. (IT IS SO SO SO not about His gifts, or about Him intervening and fixing our circumstances, but about HIM HIM HIM..)

    1. OH rebecca–how He moves in you–such wisdom “buying the lie that His love was quenched- and He withdrew, His love was never quenched for His hair was wet with dew”

  22. 11. What do the daughters of Jerusalem ask in Song of Songs 5:9 and how does she answer? Then how do they respond in 6:1. What does this tell you?
     
    They want to know, in essence, what makes him so special…how is he better than others? After she describes him, then in 6:1 they want to go with her to find him. This tells me that she totally convinced them that he was worth the search and now they’re ready to go!
     
    12. What does Reeves say we have lost in our Protestant heritage?
     
    Simply and happily preaching about the Person of Christ. Instead, we focus more on the mechanics of how to get saved, making it an abstract thing rather than bringing people to know Christ.  We talk more about how you can come to know Him instead of talking about Him, how alluring and beautiful He is, which makes a person desire Him for themselves.
     
    13. We tend to talk about the mechanics of how to get saved instead of the beauties of Christ How might seeing this impact how you share with others? See if you can come up with a sentence or two that you might share.
     
    I think of how much I love my children and how proud I am of them that if I’m not careful, I can go on and on about them in a conversation…how many moms love to show pictures of their kids, too? They are so precious to us – we want to tell others.
    I am thinking about how I might read the Bible with my mom. Reading the gospels, for example, I can linger on things like how Jesus healed the leper. Here was a man who nobody ever touched – how awful that would be to never have anyone touch you, hug you, run away from you. Jesus could have stood at a distance and said, “You’re healed.” But He touched the man…other people watching would’ve been horrified, but how beautiful a Savior who touches what everyone else thinks is diseased, unclean, filthy, gross. This is who Jesus is.

  23. This song reminded me of the love for the Beloved expressed in Song of Songs today. May it help you worship.
    Pour my love on you – Phillips, Craig and Dean

    1. Diane, that is so beautiful!  Thank you!

  24. Can I please just say how hard it is to go without carbs and sugar?  My stomach is so full with meat and veggies, but I “feel” so unsatisfied!!!!  I know I am speaking of the flesh.  But I do not want to pick up that substance to keep me going.  Today is day 3. I believe God has called me to this.  Thank u for listening and for praying.  Bless u all!

    1. Tereasa, love your honesty and your faithfulness–praying for you!

    2. Tereasa, I know what your saying….try mints or gum to satisfy your desire for sweets after you eat.  The first few days are the hardest:(  Praying for you.

    3. Tereasa, You are doing so well! :)) OH I can relate to the first week!!!! I couldn’t believe how I so desired to go to my room and grab a dessert and watch the news. It was hard shutting the news off at night, but I did it anyway and read and prayed instead. Now I don’t ‘have’ to watch the news..as a matter of fact I barely do anymore-but sugar and chocolate are still temptations. 

      You didn’t ask for input, so I hope you don’t mind-and you can take this or leave it of course, but I would recommend being careful totally limiting your carbs-depending on how long you are fasting..perhaps you could eliminate sugar for now-i.e. sweets,  and keep some of the healthy carbs-unless noodles and bread are too much of a temptation for you to run to for satisfaction? The times you are tempted to run to these items for satisfaction work on memorizing a verse, or go for a walk, or read a spiritually edifying book. I am sure you know this-but just thought I would encourage you! 🙂 

  25. 14. Read Song of Songs 2:8-17 and find out what made them laugh so hard in the classroom. Reeves was kidding, and yet had a serious point. What was it?       I have to be honest here and say I could not make out what Reeves said right before all of the raucous laughter.  I remember thinking that I wished the dialogue had been as loud as the laughter — the laughter was nearly deafening!   Dee’s explanation makes sense.  If Reeves said that Song of Songs was influenced by Lewis instead of the other way around, that would explain the laughter. 
    15. HE QUOTES THIS FROM CROWN HIM WITH MANY CROWNS. WHAT WAS HIS POINT?    His reign shall know no end,     and round his pierced feet     fair flowers of paradise extend     their fragrance ever sweet.
    The point was that His presence bring great blessing.   Where he walks the desert blooms. 
    15. READ SONG OF SONGS 6:10 AND COMMENT ON WHAT YOU LEARN FROM THIS AND REEVES.
    She is compared to a multitude of people. The daughters of Jerusalem are a part of her. The language flip flops between “I” and “we.”  She is a plurality of persons.
    16. Read Song of Songs 7:1-2 and comment on what you learn from this and Reeves.

    Reeves commented that this was “fertile language.”  Just as the moon reflects the light of the sun, so she reflected Him.   She may have been pregnant. 

  26. 17. Other comments from this section. (It is so rich!)
     
    I found Reeves’ reference to Aslan and the end of winter and the White Witch from the Chronicles of Narnia very interesting. I had not connected this appearing of spring in Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe with Song of Songs.  It is obvious, once Reeves says it. I love that part of Lewis’ story. Spring appears in Lewis’ story, even before the White Witch is fully defeated, even as now, Jesus brings peace and joy to believers, even as we still struggle in a sin-stained world. 
     
    Saturday
     
    18. What is your take-a-way and why?
     
    As Reeves sums this section up, he says that Jesus’ presence brings paradise. I am seeing that it is true for me. The world is full of woe, but somehow, feeling Jesus with me brings a sense of spring flowers and thaw, of calves skipping in the fields and the return of the song birds. Beautiful is my Love, leaping like a gazelle. 

    1. This, Diane, gave me goosebumps: “The world is full of woe, but somehow, feeling Jesus with me brings a sense of spring flowers and thaw, of calves skipping in the fields and the return of the song birds. Beautiful is my Love, leaping like a gazelle. ” Beautiful heart, thankful for you here.

    2. Diane, I wanted to comment on your take-away…it’s so beautiful and so personal. You have had and continue to experience sorrow and trials, but how you express that His presence brings a sense of spring…only He could do that. When you say “Beautiful is my Love…” you sound just like the maiden in the Songs.

    3. I agree, your take away blessed me just knowing all you have and are goign through. You are a true testimony for God and how His love sustains us in hard times. Thank you for sharing…many hugs to you!

  27. my take away. 
     
    I am extremely convicted by speaking of Christ’s beauty. How often I have prided myself in being different because i ‘follow all the rules’ and i ‘act better than so many’. But i am shamed in this, and have been mistaken in thinking this was a good testimony: to try to acheive religious perfection. Instead i must speak of Christ (and my change due to His love?). I know that I should have a fragarence of desiring Christ and I have come to depend on that instead of giving testimony. I especially default to this with those that are familiar with my convictions but dont choose to succumb to Gods calling. I have always given them room for their own choice. However God is showing me that this is the wrong heart, not necessarily wrong action as silence is sometimes what God uses ? But He is showing me something new. I come from a family where things of this nature are private and you dont talk of your personal comvictions, you assume the other is informed and has chosen their position or approach. Anything else is viewed as pushy. I also have circumstances with ‘aggressive’ non believers and I am,admittedly, very confused as to what my approach should be. I will hopefully hear some clear direction from the Lord soon on this as I am aware of the eternal ramifications. I also feel ill fit for discussion with non beloevers or those that claim the name but not the faith. I feel i uist be able to counter every argument, but this is where the beauty of Christ would call someone to faith.  
     
    Anyway. Could go on but will leave it there. I apologize for typos i am on phone in dark riding home.  

    1. I love your heart Jill…it’s so open and loving.

    2. Jill, 
      Love your honesty with the Lord and with us-your willingness to step outside yourself and look in objectively-so sweet: ” I am,admittedly, very confused as to what my approach should be.I will hopefully hear some clear direction from the Lord soon on this as I am aware of the eternal ramifications. ”
       

  28. My takeaway is that I still want to finish this week’s study because IT IS SO GOOD!!  I see His beauty, I desire Him — but I still take my eyes off Him, and my thoughts do wander from Him during the day.  This week, even typically-hard meetings (3 days worth) were better; one long one even was GOOD.  I know that HE has been sustaining me.  When I allow difficult and/or unfair circumstances to determine my well-being or to impact my attitude.  Yesterday, when I was driving, I did focus on the very unfair ways that people are being treated — and I was very UPSET for about 10 minutes.  Then, I remembered Him and regained hope.   I’m VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY SLOWLY learning to pay attention to His timing, to get up and answer the door when He knocks, and I’m just barely starting to learn not to run out the door alone to conquer the world when He calls me to stay with Him.

    1. Oops!  “When I allow difficult and/or unfair circumstances to determine my well-being or to impact my attitude”… I am miserable. So thankful that He doesn’t abandon me when I take my focus off Him and stew in my misery.

      1. Me too Renee!

      2. Me three, Renee.

    2. When I allow difficult and/or unfair circumstances to determine my well-being or to impact my attitude.

      This was me all week, had a very hurtful thing said towards me and I could not let it go in my mind all week. Still battling it, even though I know the truth and its a lie. But I struggle with it impacting my attitude and taking my focus off of Him…thanks for sharing. Just makes me realize we are all human and need Him that much more and His love. 

  29. 11. What do the daughters of Jerusalem ask in Song of Songs 5:9 and how does she answer? Then how do they respond in 6:1. What does this tell you?

    She is asked what makes Him special, what makes Him great. She answers by describing HIM. As so beautiful, that they desire to seek Him with her. She doesn’t say ‘here’s how you can get to know Him’—she just describes Him.

    12. What does Reeves say we have lost in our Protestant heritage?

    Reeves says we have lost the emphasis on the Person of Christ. Instead of talking about Him, we talk about the mechanics to get saved.

    13. We tend to talk about the mechanics of how to get saved instead of the beauties of Christ. How might seeing this impact how you share with others? See if you can come up with a sentence or two that you might share.

    Christ Himself is magnetic. His beauty is what draws souls to Himself. This has changed how I want to share about Him. I want my focus to be on talking not about myself, my own life, not even so much as what He has done in my life. I think all of these ways can distract—for all our circumstances are unique, and someone may get caught in the details of how their life differs than mine. Rather, I want to have my conversation be a praise of who He is. I need to work on my sentence though 😉

    1. Elizabeth-on your number 13..so true..for so long I would give my ‘salvation’ testimony…a bad girl living the rock and roll traveling band life to becoming a Christian with her life in order-oh my…and a friend responded, “well my testimony is boring,  I came to know him at a young age-guess I don’t have much of a testimony of a ‘before’ and ‘after’.” So the focus was on ME..I didn’t see it then, but I do now.  When I think of Paul and how he shared, he focused on the beauty of Christ- on the Gospel..and applied it to where the hearers were at-so each situation was different-Paul meeting their needs first, but it wasn’t a formula. I don’t see a formula anywhere in scripture-wow have we messed that up-but He is on the move! 🙂 

      1. Hey Rebecca – I just read your post too – that’s a good point too b/c many people do have a very dramatic story to tell and theirs is a very dramatic conversion experience, which could lead others to feel they don’t have much to say – their story doesn’t sound so “exciting”. Paul does mention that he is the chief of sinners, but he doesn’t go into great detail about his past.

        1. Susan, Of course I could be wrong! 🙂 You made me go to this-and he does tell of his testimony but it is to Timothy-yet while he shares he totally focuses on Jesus His Grace and Mercy AND His beauty . :)) That said, I don’t think it is wrong to give our testimonies to others whether believer or not-I don’t want to get legalistic here..God molds hearts regardless of ‘how’ we share, but I think the focus should always be on Him. I found this pretty beautiful how Paul tells it to Timothy: 

          1 Tim. 1: 12-17:  I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief,  and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. 17 To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever.[d] Amen.

        2. Rebecca, I don’t see a way to comment on your comment here to Susan about the passage in 1 Timothy, but, my, what a lovely passage with Paul telling his testimony in such a Jesus centered way!

    2. Elizabeth, you make a good point in your last paragraph here. I am so used to hearing other people’s “testimonies”…it is common at church that someone will speak and give theirs and we are each encouraged to work on ours. I wonder if the pastors of old (like Reeves mentions) or the Puritans had that tradition of giving their testimonies or just preaching on the Person of Christ? I too am wondering if talking about ourselves is a distraction…yet we also somehow have to bring in how God came to us and changed us.

  30. 14. Read Song of Songs 2:8-17 and find out what made them laugh so hard in the classroom. Reeves was kidding, and yet had a serious point. What was it?

    When a student mentions a connection to Narnia, Reeves jokingly says “I think definitely Song of Songs is alluding to Lewis…a foreshadowing”. But in seriousness, He says—His presence brings great blessing, with His presence, winter is gone.

    15. HE QUOTES THIS FROM CROWN HIM WITH MANY CROWNS. WHAT WAS HIS POINT?    His reign shall know no end, and round his pierced feet fair flowers of paradise extend their fragrance ever sweet.

    His death, His coming to us, creates paradise. His presence brings blessings, and so the flowers appear—He is the giver of life.

    I have to stop here, but I think this last section helps me answer the earlier question about sharing Christ. He IS the life-giver, and His presence brings blessings. So it makes sense then, that to talk about Him, bringing Him into the conversation, brings His presence, His blessings, His LIFE. And it is Him that changes the heart.

  31. 18. What is your take-a-way and why?
    This week what what I take away are the many thoughts related to the graciousness of Jesus…that we are “saved to know Jesus”…in His graciousness He provides “continuous affection” even when I am unkind.  I am constrained by my own heart…Jesus is always ready to give, it is I who fail in receiving.  “Joy with Him”…”feast with Him”…accept His invitation…enjoy and treasure Him.
     
    My heart is just warmed; I can see some rough edges (that in some cases I didn’t even fully realize were present) have started to be smoothed.  I love what the Lord is doing in my heart and the really personal relationship that is forming with Jesus and the really personal perspective that is overtaking that of Jesus being “on a pedestal”.  (Please do not misunderstand me, Jesus is and has every right to be respected and “on a pedestal”…what I am saying is that I am seeing Him from the vantage of being His beloved.) 

    1. Nanci, loved reading your take-away here…”I love what the Lord is doing in my heart and the really personal relationship that is forming with Jesus…”

  32. 7. Share your notes.
    8. She loves Him more than His gifts. She wants to be with Him. How do you see this in The Song of Songs? 

    All through Song of Songs, she longs for Him, looks for Him, even at any cost of being ridiculed and beat up in search of Him. I feel this way at times with the world and the church. I love God so much, I could talk about God all day long. Sometimes Im made fun of for being a Christian,even among people we know…because I lead a womens bible study our commander jokingly called me Tammy Fae Baker…to which I did not care, but others were offended. I just know how deep I love God and how much more deep God’s love is for me. I think if we could just grasp His love for us, nothing could take that away….the ONE true lover of our souls. God is the ONLY one who turned my life around and gave me Hope after being battered and abuse growing up as a child and teenager. Once you experience that kind of love, nothing compares… Im reminded of a song by Jesus Culture  “Who Can Compare”   .
    9. How do you see suffering in The Song of Songs 3:7?
    10. Sibbes says you will not suffer with Him if you have not feasted with Him. She will not truly love Him unless she is convinced He loves her. Are you convinced? Find a passage in the Song of Songs that helps you. Yes, I am convinced, even more so after doing this bible study. I will never doubt God’s love for me again, even when I mess up or feel unworthy or fail Him. I know its not by how much I do, say or am, HE loves me unconditionally. Nothing can change God’s love towards us, it is who HE IS~HE IS LOVE. Im not sure I can find just one passage in Song of Songs, the whole book is a love like no other from God. Just reading this I feel God’s love. I think as women sometimes we love a good love story, like Pride and Prejudice or the ones mentioned by many others through out this study. The Song of Songs is a true love story, OUR LOVE STORY, from God. I dont know of anything more beautiful!
     

    1. Staci, this is great: “I think as women sometimes we love a good love story, like Pride and Prejudice or the ones mentioned by many others through out this study. The Song of Songs is a true love story, OUR LOVE STORY, from God. I don’t know of anything more beautiful!”
      You are so right…how much more excellent is this book…all the movies we love (and I do love Pride and Prejudice!) stir our hearts for something…and it is this!

      1. Amen Staci and Susan! :))

  33. 14. Read Song of Songs 2:8-17 and find out what made them laugh so hard in the classroom. Reeves was kidding, and yet had a serious point. What was it?
     
    Dee’s answer above clued me in on this – I heard the woman in the room talking about verses 11-13; how the winter is over…flowers are appearing… the fig tree is bearing fruit, and she said it was like when Aslan returned to Narnia and broke the spell of the White Witch and ended the winter. But I couldn’t make-out what Reeves said…Dee said he joked that C.S. Lewis inspired this passage in the Bible and then they all laughed.
     
    But his serious point was that with the appearance of the Beloved, the winter is gone…He brings new creation. His presence brings great blessing. His death – His coming to us, creates Paradise.
     
    15. HE QUOTES THIS FROM CROWN HIM WITH MANY CROWNS. WHAT WAS HIS POINT?
     
    The mystery that His death brings (or opens) Paradise to us…His presence brings great blessing.
     
    16. Read Song of Songs 7:1-2 and comment on what you learn from this and Reeves.
     
    Verse 2 says that her navel is a rounded goblet…her waist is a mound of wheat. It seems to describe her being pregnant. Reeves says this is “fertility language” – she is becoming more and more fruitful.
     
    17. Other comments from this section.
     
    Interesting thoughts from Jonathan Edwards about the maiden and the daughters of Jerusalem – how the language of “I” and “we” flip-flops – she is a plurality of persons.
     
    Reeves said about 8:6-7 that love is the very flame of the Lord. This is talking about resurrection, that love is as strong as death. The beauty of His jealousy – He will not have the grave to rule over His Beloved – He will rescue her from the grave. This sure makes sense…He rescues us from the enemy, rescues us in life, and will He then abandon us when we die? No – He will rescue us even in death.

  34. 18 What is your take-away and why?
     
    Oh…there was so, so much this week! Building upon last week, where she is lying in bed and doesn’t want to get out of bed to open to Him…her desire for Him wanes and He leaves…yet He leaves His scent and she begins again to yearn for Him. So much in Sibbes’ description of sleepiness. I think I am learning how to focus more on Him…just Him, as she does when she describes Him in chapter 5. The message this week by Reeves was so rich…I loved that whole speech he gave, quoting Sibbes, how Sibbes preached on the excellency of Christ. “What then can she lack who has such a Friend, such a Husband, whose government is so winning, so  mild, so merciful…in all things, Christ has the preeminence.” So what reason do I have to have a pity party for me and get depressed about my circumstances? I am taking my eyes off of Him when I do that.
     
    I’ve also been thinking about feasting with Him…that in this respect, it’s okay to come hungry (even greedily?) If I am complaining that I’m not being given grace, or if I am letting past sins condemn me, it is not His fault…it is my own heart that is constraining me, not Him. I have always loved this from one of Max Lucado’s books, where he gives a metaphor of a woman coming to Jesus to drink from the cup of His forgiveness. Does she just take a small sip? No, she guzzles it, lets it run down her chin and spill over her…she drinks deeply, greedily.
     
    Slowly, many things are beginning to come together for me as we study this. I never knew Song of Songs was this rich.

    1. Slowly, many things are beginning to come together for me as we study this. I never knew Song of Songs was this rich.
      I couldnt agree more Susan!

  35. 11. What do the daughters of Jerusalem ask in Song of Songs 5:9 and how does she answer? Then how do they respond in 6:1. What does this tell you? The daughters of Jerusalem ask how her beloved is better than others, and then they ask where has He gone, they too want to seek Him with her. There is something about describing God’s love, it just radiates out of a person who loves God so. I too feel this way at times, I cant help but smile when I talk about God and all He has done for me. It reminds me of when you are first in love, you just beam and radiate or glow when you talk about the one you love. The same is to be said about God, and how His love is so pure, so true, so loving… I remember when I first got saved, 21 years ago, how I just beamed with joy and excitement. I had found the One I needed and I still feel that way. I still beam with excitement when I talk about God and His love.
    12. What does Reeves say we have lost in our Protestant heritage? We are spoiled for choice when it comes to sermons. In Song of Songs she describes Him, not how to know Him, but just Him, in all His glory and love. When I personally talk about God, I feel the same way. I cant help but talk about how good God is and how much I love Him, versus how to accept His salvation.  I think that alone will spill over to others and at times I have witnessed this too.
    13. We tend to talk about the mechanics of how to get saved instead of the beauties of Christ. How might seeing this impact how you share with others? See if you can come up with a sentence or two that you might share. I have always felt its better to radiate God’s love and who He is than how to be saved. I have always said its about a life changing relationship with God versus the mechanics of salvation. For when God’s love changes your heart, HE changes you all together and it radiates out to others.
     

  36. 4. Read Song of Songs 2:8-17 and find out what made them laugh so hard in the classroom. Reeves was kidding, and yet had a serious point. What was it? I couldnt catch it, I heard the laughter but didnt catch it either. So I just read above everyones take on it. I think someone said it was a finale leading up to CS Lewis, but reality the person meant God, but it was funny in the sense that is what they meant. 
    The serious point is with the ‘appearance’ winter is gone…God’s presence is the appearance. New creation, His presence brings great blessings, in desert places He blooms and in our life. He is the giver of life.
    15. HE QUOTES THIS FROM CROWN HIM WITH MANY CROWNS. WHAT WAS HIS POINT?    His reign shall know no end,     and round his pierced feet     fair flowers of paradise extend     their fragrance ever sweet.  
    He is the giver of life, He creates blooms in desert places in our lives.
     
    15. READ SONG OF SONGS 6:10 AND COMMENT ON WHAT YOU LEARN FROM THIS AND REEVES.
    This is the description of the woman, yet a multitude of people. Daughters of Jerusalem. She represents many people. Plurality of persons.
    16. Read Song of Songs 7:1-2 and comment on what you learn from this and Reeves.
    She is fruitful,She is like Him, reflecting Him.
    17. Other comments from this section. (It is so rich!) Love is the flame of the Lord~Reeves take on Ch. 8:6-7. His love is jealous, He will rescue her from the grave. Not even death can separate us from the Love He has for us.
    Saturday
    18. What is your take-a-way and why? 
    I got a bit behind this week, and oh I wish I hadnt. I do not like rushing through. This was so a rich and deep week. My take away this week was on how deep, passionate and real God’s love is for us. Like a love story, but a true love story, God’s love story towards us. I always think of Pride and Prejudice…and I literally have watched it at least 50 times and I never tire of it. I think because it reminds me of a true, pure love like God’s love. I am beginning to sense God’s love so much more deeper. I thought I had, but wow, right now after finishing up Reeves message….Im still awestruck over God’s love. A love that is so deep, that not even death can separate us from our one true love~God.  

  37. http://youtu.be/CjMk6roletM
     
    This has been going through my head all day, love this song. I think it sums up His love so perfectly…. Who Can Compare

  38. I did the bible study this morning – I do not have awesome comments like all of u (which I read and am very very grateful).  Leaning in all of u for a bit.  Guilty and have repented of so much being about ME.  Desire a major shift, and it is happening.  Cannot really grasp Song of Solomon yet.  But I am in the right track, and believe.  Praying for change.  Receiving It now.